Cremation Jewelry: Another Way of Remembering

When someone passes away, there is an impulse to find ways to remember the dead. Mourning jewelry is always a good choice: it contains some part of the dead’s remains, for example, hair. The part of the remains will be placed inside a necklace or a ring and the jewelry will be given to families and friends.

The Popularity of Cremation Jewelry 

This tradition was gaining popularity, especially during 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century, as the child mortality rate increased to over 20 percent and the occurrence of the Civil War, mourning jewelry became a common practice: soldiers left their hair for their families in case they died on the battlefield; parents wore necklaces which had hairs of the deceased as a way to remember their children.

As a traditional casket burial takes more than $7000, cremation is gaining popularity because it only costs a third of the cost of a traditional casket burial. Because of that, there is a growing number of people who chooses to make cremations rings to honor their loved ones.

Today, cremation jewelry incorporates with various kinds of materials, including silver, gold, crystals, diamond and ashes left from the cremations. The range of choices caters to their preferences and enables families to personalize their way of remembering. The process of making a cremation ring can take up to six months or more, depending on the size of the diamond. The minimum cost of a cremation diamond is $2490 and the cost increases as the desired size increases.

Conflicts 

However, cremation jewelry is a controversial topic to discuss. Taking someone’s ashes for making cremation jewelry could be against personal rights. It is common that family members could not reach a consensus on how to do with the body. The question of “who has the right to control the remains of the deceased” should be answered. In only fifteen states, statutes that create a list of persons who have power over the deceased person’s remains in order of their rights are established. If the descendants have a conflict on how to deal with the body, it is crucial to enforce by law who is the one that makes the final decision.

References:

Barrett, N. (2014). You Can Turn Loved One’s Ashes into Jewelry. [online] ABC13 Houston. Available at: http://abc13.com/family/you-can-turn-loved-ones-ashes-into-jewelry-/417101/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

The National Law Review. (2012). Legal Considerations of Cremation Jewelry. [online] Available at: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/cremation-jewelry [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

 

 

3 responses to “Cremation Jewelry: Another Way of Remembering

  1. Jakara Griffin

    If I were cremated, I would not want my family to divide my ashes and place them in jewelry because I would prefer for my ashes to be used in a sustainable manner. However, I understand a person’s desire to purchase and wear this jewelry in order to feel a connection with a deceased loved one. My only concern is that jewelry makers could put a stranger’s ashes into the jewelry, so how would the customer know if the ashes in the jewelry are the ashes of their family member, friend, partner, etc.? As for the question posed at the end of the article, if the person who died was married, then the widow should have control over the remains of the deceased. If the person is not married, the situation could be tricky if the immediate family members (i.e. siblings and parents) do not agree on who controls the remains. In these instances, the parents or guardians (if they are alive) should control the remains of the dead person. If they are not alive, then the people who were closest to the deceased person should take care of the remains.

  2. One aspect of this piece that stood out to me was the fact that there are legal paradigms in place for rights over a deceased body. Although this seems fairly logical, it initially striked me as odd because I tend to think of death, whether it is via cremation, burial, etc. as the final end. In our society, we have few rituals in place that actively involve a dead body or ashes.
    These laws reminded me a bit of the Terri Shiavo case and the idea of a living will. Although a person may already be dead, their ashes or their final resting place act as the presence of the deceased. It makes sense that such laws should exist.

  3. Austin Piccolo

    The thing that I find very interesting about this concept is the idea that you could turn a person into a commodity like a diamond. I think that we live in a very materialistic world where we tend to place a lot of weight on objects and material possessions. Having the ability to turn your loved one’s ashes into diamonds not only changes a living person into a very materialistic thing, but one that can be sold, traded, robbed. If burglars were to break into a house, they would most likely not steel your grandmother’s ashes from the mantel but the diamond in the drawer is another story. While I disagree with the concept because I tend to be against the overly materialistic ways of our society, I do think that changing ashes into something is a good idea. By changing the ashes/body and using it for something else we can allow them to take on a whole new life and meaning.

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